A U.S. Olympic gold medalist swimmer who confessed to participating in the Jan. 6 riot was sentenced on Friday to three years probation, six months of home detention, and 360 hours of community service. Klete Keller pleaded guilty early on to obstruction of an official proceeding after he was identified inside the U.S. Capitol by his 6-foot-6 frame and U.S.A. athletic jacket. Video footage showed Keller leading chants against then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and resisting removal from the Capitol by police. Court records stated that he admitted to attempting to erase evidence from his phone and dispose of his jacket. Prosecutors had sought 10 months in prison, writing, “Keller once wore the American flag as an Olympian. On January 6, 2021, he threw that flag in a trash can.” They claimed he “put the officers, Members of Congress, their staff, and everyone else inside in danger… because his preferred candidate lost an election.” But U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said Keller should spend his sentence speaking to students about his mistakes instead of going to prison, noting that the former swimmer expressed regret and was cooperative with the Justice Department.
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